Monday, April 17, 2017

The Noveling Journey

cr: Diter Laskowski
This past weekend I spent 10+ hours in a minivan with four small children. One of those children is only eighteen months old. On top of being squirmy, said child had started antibiotics for an ear infection only the day before. He can also scream very loud.

As one must do with such an experience, I tried to find the positive. It was either that or breakdown and sob which wouldn't do anyone good. What I came to realize in the anxiety to and from my destination, was that I had been going about noveling all wrong. And trust me, it wasn't a negative thought.

One thing I know about road trips is that if I want to get somewhere, I have to keep going. Stopping at Buc-ee's is really fun. It's great to stretch my legs and buy myself some beaver nuggets, but it's not going to get me anywhere. The longer I hang out at Buc-ee's, the later I'll show up.

Writing is the same. Not for everyone, but for me it is.

Social media is great. I actually love it. Getting to interact with readers, friends, family, and other writers while still in my yoga pants is a form of heaven for an extrovert who can't leave the house all day thanks to toddlers. But it isn't helping when it's time to sit down and write.

There's still time for it, and it is important, but not when it comes to actually working.

Every time I stop, I'm not getting any closer to finishing. That ten minute break I tell myself I'm taking on Facebook inevitably turns into a half hour and all my writing time is gone.

When I started this blog six years ago (six years ago today!) I named it A Writer's Journey because I knew that's what it would be. I knew it was going to be full of long stretches where nothing interesting happens, and amazing sights, and lots of bumps. Somehow I've lost touch with that feeling. It was all so new then and I looked forward to getting somewhere.

cr: Vladislav Zhuk
What I didn't know is that there is no somewhere in writing. If you think you've arrived you're at a dead end. It doesn't stop with being published. It doesn't end with making money. It's something that becomes part of a person and can only separated with emotional pain equivalent to chemo.

So, I'll keep writing, and from now I on, I'll try to make less stops.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

She started as writer, but when she gets older you won't believe what happened!

Did I get you with that click-bait title? I always fall for those dang things. Anyway, this is a regularly (or not so regularly in my case) scheduled update.

First and foremost I'd like to draw your attention to a fancy new box on the right-hand side. Yes, I'm starting a newsletter. As of now it won't be more than once a month. I'd love it if you signed up! And oh yeah:

There will be a free novella if you sign up!

Eventually, because I'm still working on it. Quality, folks.

Second, I've started a review group on Facebook. If you like receive free copies of my books in exchange for a review, please contact me! (email: author.jabennett @ gmail.com)

Third, I've update my books tab with links, so check that out too if you get a chance. Until next time!




Thursday, January 26, 2017

Doing the Thing I Said I'd Do

Blogging? That's still a thing? Who knew. ;)

Yes, after almost a year I finally got around to updating my site. I'm such a slacker!

The good news is, I've not only published one, but two novellas in my time away. For once I followed through on my promise and it feels so good. Oh yeah, and there was that major squee moment when this happened:


And to top it off, I'm training for a marathon. I've run for two and half hours in one run. Never thought I'd do that!

Anyway, I have a post up on Thinking Through Our Fingers Today, so pop over there if you get a chance.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Day it Couldn't be Done

The computer screen had to be lying. It was my first semester of college and there was a letter staring back at me I had yet to see on a report card. F.

Turns out the excuse of having to work instead of turning in assignments didn't fly in the collegiate sphere. I asked myself then how anyone earned a degree.

Two semesters later (and after a short break) I achieved my first ever 4.0.

On another night, I wondered if the crying would ever end. I sat on my couch holding my oldest child while the tears dripped and dripped down my face as he screamed. I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn't think I ever would. 
 
In my mind, there was NO WAY anyone really had more than one kid. It wasn't possible.
 
But then I did it. And now I have four. It's still hard, but there are too many good moments to count.

For years I would sit at my computer, and start book ideas. Worlds constantly tumbled around my head, and there was no relief except to put it on paper. The only problem was, as much as I wanted to write a cohesive story I had no idea how. It wouldn't be long until my words turned to nonsense and I would quit.
 
It was impossible for me to write a novel. I knew it because I had tried and failed. 
 
Until one day five years ago. A little niggling had taken over my head, and I felt forced to sit down and write the story about a girl who could shake the earth.
 
Never before had I written forty-thousand words. It was amazing! For once I was going to write a whole novel. I could do it. I would do it. 

To commemorate my success, I started this blog. I was going to publish a book, I was determined. 

But I never did. 

Once I started editing I learned a new "truth." Publishing was thing I couldn't overcome. 

Unlike everything else I'd done, I would never stop telling myself this lie. For five years, this has been my rhetoric. 
 
It didn't hit me until this morning.

In the middle of my run a reoccurring leg cramp seized me, rendering me unable to do more than walk. I wondered then how anyone completed a marathon. I thought of my father who had not only run many marathons, but also run a 100-mile race through the mountains.  

Another memory gripped me hard, one that made my stomach turn so painfully my leg cramp felt like nothing. It was my father laying on his bed while my mom massaged his legs. 

My gaze turned heavenward as the truth slammed my gut. My father didn't stop running because it hurt. I still went to school after failing. Having a difficult child didn't keep me from having more children. Not being able to finish one novel didn't stop me from finishing seven others.
 
The only thing keeping me from hitting publish is myself, and that lie I've believed for five years. 
 
This is where it ends. I have one novella written and two others plotted that I will be publishing this year. 
 
There will be days when I know it will suck. There will be critiques I'm not sure I'll be able to overcome. There will be times when I want to give up. But I won't, because I'm through with lies.  


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Road. A Family. And Some Zombies.

It's been a while since I've talked books on here. Mostly because I haven't been blogging, but also because I won't promote a book I'm not 100% behind. This is one of times. My dear, dear, friend David Powers King has released THE UNDEAD ROAD and let me tell you, it sounds like all kinds of awesome!

Some of my favorite memories are from family road trips where things went terribly wrong, and this book sounds like it'll bring all those happy fuzzies back, AND have some zombie action thrown into the mix.

I already know David is an awesome author. Heck, we even wrote an anthology together. I can't wait to get this book in my hands! (Seriously paperback is only $10.99? He might as well give it away. Oh wait, EBOOK IS $.99. He is giving it away.)

With no further ado, here's the premise:

Nothing brings the family together like a zombie apocalypse …

Fifteen-year-old Jeremy Barnes would rather watch a zombie movie than shoot a real one, but he has no choice if his family wants to survive the end of the world. Their plan? Drive across the infected United States to a cabin in the Colorado Rockies without a scratch, but their trip takes a complicated detour in the middle of Nebraska when they find Kaylynn, a girl who can handle a baseball bat better than Jeremy can hold a .45 Beretta. And when they stumble into a sanctuary, Jeremy soon learns that Kaylynn is stronger than she looks—a deadly secret lies inside her.

After the radio picks up a distress call from Kansas City about a possible cure, Jeremy’s parents go with a team to investigate. They never return. The only way to find their parents is for Jeremy and his sister Jewel to rely on a dangerous girl who might just turn on them at any moment.

Go buy it off Amazon today!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

That Self-Discipline Thing

My two oldest kids go to an excellent Karate studio where they learn about a new value each month, and memorize scriptures to strengthen them. This month's theme is self-discipline. My kids had to fill out a chart for a week in which they needed to do things like chores and karate practice, as well as keeping a positive attitude, and respecting family members.



If my kids are working to improve themselves, I figure I should be doing it along with them. When it comes to writing, I'm lucky to have a lot of support. Even though I tend to let self-doubt get in the way a lot, I know there are many opportunities to battle the blues.


Photo by Gratsiela Toneva
Gratsiela Toneva

One such awesome friend shared this challenge with me, and I've decided to take part. My goal is to write one thousand words Monday-Friday. I've missed today because of other blogging commitments, but I'm confident I can make it up tomorrow.



I hope you'll all take a look at the Ruby Slipper Sisterhood challenge and make your own goals. Happy writing!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Writing..and Stuff.



Wow. It's been six months since my last blog post. *wipes brow* I'm happy to report I'm still writing. It's iffy some days, but I always come back to it. I just wanted to do a quick update to let you know, I've...well...updated.



Turns out the last time I changed my tabs was two children ago...which means at least three years. Yikes! My twitter handle has changed along with some other things, so you might want to check it out.


I'd most notably like to turn your attention to the new cover design and blog banner tab. I'm still doing free covers, so if you're in the market, take a look! (And thanks Alex for the shoutout last time, you're awesome!)


What's new with you? Any resolutions you want to share? Me? I'm going to write every day Mon-Fri. And yes, I'm already struggling. But the only direction from here is up, right?